How to Train Chickens to Return to Their Coop. Allowing your chickens to roam around your backyard gives them a chance to dust their feathers, scratch in the grass and sample worms and insects. The problem is, once your chickens are out, it can be difficult to coax them back into their coop. Chasing the birds back in is one strategy, but it usually only results in stressing out you and your birds. A much better approach is to train your birds to go back into the coop. The training process is easy and doesn't take much time-usually less than a week-and the results are worth the effort on your part. Here is how.
The key to training chickens is through their stomachs. They love to snack on scratch, leftover rice and pasta and little bits of cheese. Start your training by giving your birds a little snack every time you let them out to free range. This teaches them that you are a food source-a lesson they won't soon forget.
When you are ready for your chickens to return to their coop, first make sure that the door to the coop or run is wide open. You won't want to bother with trying to open it after you've led your birds over.
Walk over to your birds and drop them a little treat. This typically makes them very excited and they'll look up at you expectantly, waiting for more. Begin slowly moving your way to the coop, dropping treats as you go. The hens will follow the food, guaranteed.
When you reach the coop, stand to the side of the door and throw the remainder of the treats into the run as far as you can. The hens will rush in, eager to snatch up the rest of the food. As soon as they are all in, shut the door!
Follow this routine every time you let your chickens out. Eventually, they will run over to you as soon as you come outside. Then, you can just walk towards the run and pretend to throw something in. Most of the time the birds will scurry right in.